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Living in Buckinghamshire

Buckinghamshire, along with Oxfordshire, is ‘Midsomer county,’ where families living in one of the seemingly infinite chocolate box towns and villages are well used to producers of hit TV series Midsomer Murders knocking on their door to ask if they can film in their street. Bucks is, in fact, the most filmed county in England - think Star Wars, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, James Bond, Bridgerton and Killing Eve, to name a few.

This picturesque home county also boasts Chequers, country retreat for the Prime Minister, and more National Trust properties than any other single county. It has the only vintage steam train that directly connects with London and is home to the world’s oldest model village. And, wait for it, in south east Bucks, they’ve even got London Underground (or rather overground).

Such riches don’t come cheap. The market town of Beaconsfield has the highest house prices outside London. More a case of saving up your shares than your pennies.

Education scene in Buckinghamshire

Local Education Authorities in Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire County Council

This is grammar school territory where every other household is either home to a tutor or a child being tutored. Aspiration is in the DNA of most Bucks parents and sharp elbows are considered essential weaponry in getting your hands on one of those golden grammar tickets. If you want your child to attend one of the county’s 13 grammars, they must first sit the Secondary Transfer Test (11+) and achieve a score of 121. And proximity to school also plays a critical role.

But grammars aren’t for everyone. If you don’t think your child is grammar school fodder and you don’t want to pay for private education, choose your area carefully. Non-selective secondaries – of which there are over 20 - are a mixed bag. Local authority websites will tell you which catchment area you’re in as well as any additional requirements for faith schools.

Of the nearly 200 state primary schools (which include a couple of all-throughs and some stand-alone infant schools for ages 4-7), many are oversubscribed. These primary schools are a mix of academies, community and faith schools – and again, some of the latter (particularly Roman Catholic) have additional entrance criteria.

Then there are the 25+ private schools, including preps, senior schools and all-throughs. Parents often choose the preps with an eye to the state grammars. These range from small and idyllic to large and distinguished; some offer boarding. 
There are plenty of single sex schools, although the only state single sex options are some of the grammars.

We’ve focused our attentions on four areas of Bucks that are popular with families and home to a range of good schools – Beaconsfield and Gerrards Cross; Amersham and Chesham; Marlow; and north Bucks.

Looking for the best schools in Buckinghamshire? Our education consultants can help

Every day, Good Schools Guide education consultants successfully help parents from all over the world find the best schools for their children. Our UK team is spread out across the country, each expert with their own specialist areas of knowledge. If you would like us to help you find a school place or are keen to know more about your family’s education options in Bucks, we are ready to help. Read about our education consultancy services or get in touch by emailing [email protected] 

Your experience of education in Buckinghamshire

Do you have experience of education in Bucks – or indeed elsewhere – that you would like to share with us? We depend on our network of parents and teachers to make sure the advice and information we publish is accurate, complete, relevant and up to date. Please write to us at [email protected]

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